National Composites Employee Spotlight – Rick Grise
Rick Grise born in a small town in Indiana. However his father worked on refineries all over the world and Rick landed in 9 different schools by the eighth grade. He met up with many different cultures which helped to shape his ability to work with people from all different backgrounds. Like most boys his age, Rick dreamed of playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish when he grew up. The camaraderie, the personal interaction and being part of a team is what drew Rick to the dream. Of course, fame and glory were appealing as well! Although Rick was accepted and attended Notre Dame University he never did play for the Irish. He did nonetheless learned to become an important part of a team.
Rick owned and sold a successful company to a fortune 5 hundred company prior to coming to Able manufacturing in 2001 as VP of Sales. “I was informed ABLE had recently lost two of their largest customers and it was that challenge that enticed me to join the ABLE Team. Within seven years we had grown the company 8 times its original sales” Rick then quickly worked his way up to COO of the organization. “We had to re-adjust our focus, develop new processes, and advance our technology in order to better compete in the marketplace”. Over the next 7 years, after several process improvements, the business improved. In fact the company had grown 8 times its original sales from when Rick started with Able. “It wasn’t easy, but we knew we had a good dedicated workers to build with” Rick left ABLE in 2008 only to return in 2015 as President and CEO and began a new success story bring more innovation and relations with customers like Kawasaki, Case New Holland, Caterpillar, John Deere and many existing loyal patrons.
The success and growth of Able Manufacturing caught the attention of Adam Fenton, president of National Composites in Michigan. National purchased Able in 2021 and with that acquisition, the services of Rick and his team. “Rick blew me away with his leadership style and capabilities. We knew right away that Rick was an important person to help us lead our own growth plan.” Rick added, “I think it’s a good match. National Composites has an aggressive yet managed growth strategy that fit my business philosophy. It’s a great match for us both, I believe”.
Rick recently accepted the position of Chief Revenue Officer at National Composites and is primarily now working from the Troy, MI headquarters. “Yea, it’s quite the commute!” Rick joking states. “Although I am not in the Joplin (MO) plant much anymore, I am still part of that team. I am still working with the team there but now I am with our other five locations as well. I’m still part of the team, but the team just got bigger”.
Rick noted how enthusiastically National Composites was received when they acquired Able. “National came in and offered support to Able that allowed the team at Able to focus on growth and profitability. The advanced engineering, the stability and the security allowed Able to focus more on what they do best, creating a fantastic product for our clients.” The staff noticed the changes too. “National made some internal improvements almost immediately that improved the work place conditions. Everyone noticed and appreciated it. There was still a period of adjustment during the transition but everyone adapted. Change can be hard but National Composites did their best to make it easy.”
Rick’s other team is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. As a 1985 graduate of the university, Rick still makes it back for football Saturdays and never misses an opportunity to catch the game on TV. “Play Like A Champion Today” Rick says, “It applies to any kind of team you are on to football field or the plant floor”.